Kevin Gillespie’s Southern restaurant Revival has closed in Decatur

Toasted deviled ham tea sandwiches are one of the highlights at Revival. (Becky Stein Photography)

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

Toasted deviled ham tea sandwiches are one of the highlights at Revival. (Becky Stein Photography)

Atlanta restaurateur and celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie has closed his Decatur restaurant Revival.

The eatery closed last month at 129 Church St. in Decatur, Decaturish first reported.

In a prepared statement, Gillespie said a number of factors contributed to the decision to close, including damage to the building caused by both storms and a theft at the beginning of the year.

“Either of these setbacks would be difficult to handle financially, but the two coalescing transforms difficult into impossible,” he said. “As much as we do not like the decision we have made, we also know it’s the only path forward. We also feel extremely committed to Revival, as a brand, continuing in the future. We will immediately begin looking for a new location and hope to reopen in a year or so. We are resolute in our belief that continuing to offer honest Southern food and heartfelt hospitality is something we should be doing. Revival was built in the image of the women who informed our view of great cooking and welcoming service, and we will continue to honor their memory every way we can. We sincerely appreciate everyone who dined with us in Decatur and know we will miss being part of such a special community.”

He added that the majority of the restaurant’s staff has been absorbed by his Glenwood Park eatery Gunshow, which opened in 2013.

Just over a year ago, Gillespie closed his Eastside Beltline restaurant Cold Beer, which had been open since 2019. In April 2022, he and Marco Shaw, his partner in the Red Beard Restaurants hospitality group, opened Slabtown Public House in the same space, a concept that closed after less than six months.

Revival opened in July 2015, with a menu featuring dishes often found at Sunday dinner in the South, including bacon-wrapped meatloaf, fried chicken, fried catfish and smothered pork loin.

Chef Kevin Gillespie (left) and partner Marco Shaw have been feeding needy families since the pandemic took hold in 2020.

Credit: contributed

icon to expand image

Credit: contributed

In a 2015 review, The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Food and Dining Editor Ligaya Figueras wrote, “Credit Gillespie for reminding us that good food in good company doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. There is a place for the hourslong, hearty Sunday dinner of old, and Gillespie makes that available — and affordable — almost every day at Revival.”

In 2016, Gillespie opened Communion, a German beer garden-inspired backyard bar, behind Revival.

In addition to Red Beard Restaurants, Gillespie and Shaw run Defend Southern Food, a nonprofit started to address food insecurities that arose during the pandemic. The program delivers meals to families in the Maynard Jackson High School cluster whose students receive free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunch.

A longtime fixture on the metro Atlanta restaurant scene, Gillespie worked in the kitchens at TWO Urban Licks and the now-shuttered Woodfire Grill, as well as restaurants in Oregon. He competed on “Top Chef” in 2009 and returned for two more iterations of the show. He has been named a James Beard Award semifinalist and finalist several times.

A representative for the restaurant did not immediately respond to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s request for more information on the closure.

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.